Dylan walked out of his classroom yesterday and proudly showed me the red bracelet he was wearing.
“I have to wear this until Friday!” he said, a bit incredulously. “Until FRIDAY?! WHY?” I replied, thinking only about how beat up and dirty it would be by then. “Because it’s supposed to remind me to exercise.” was his reply.
After asking a few more questions, and talking to one of his friends, I realized what the red bracelet was actually meant to signify.
It’s Red Ribbon Week, the National Campaign that started in 1985 after the murder of a US Drug Enforcement Agent. The purpose of the movement is to raise awareness and teach children to stay away from illegal drugs in an attempt to lessen the demand for them. Essentially, it is regarded as the week long kick off for the rest of the school year, which is aimed at prevention and early intervention.
But in Dylan’s mind, the purpose of the red “bracelet” reminder was not that he should stay away from drugs, but that he should exercise in order to stay healthy. Which, at this point, is fine. At 6 yeas old, I’m not yet worried about him straying into a life of illicit drug use.
But I think his teachers are going to have to rethink their teaching strategy when they introduce the “Just Say No” campaign and Dylan associates it with exercise. Because if he’s anything like his dad and I, he doesn’t need any extra excuses to sit on the couch.
Photo credit: Swanksalot via Flickr